from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A boy employed to clean knives and do other scullion's work.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Rosa and I — no, I am afraid of her, though I DO know the story about the French usher in 1830 — but all the rest tremble before the woman, from the Doctor down to poor Francis the knife-boy, whom she bullies into his miserable blacking-hole.

    Dr. Birch and his young friends 2006

  • In fact, there were sixteen of them, counting the groom, the stable-lad and the knife-boy, whom I hadn't noticed in the general scrum.

    Dragonfly in Amber Gabaldon, Diana 1992

  • I may add that I have a number of excellent appointments on my books, from knife-boy to traveller to a firm of mineral water manufacturers.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 156, February 5, 1919 Various

  • No newspapers in the reading-room, you could put a plate under the Thompsons 'door, no level cricket-pitch, no allotments and no time to work in them, Mrs. Wilbraham's knife-boy underpaid.

    The Longest Journey 1924

  • Never shall I forget my horror when the knife-boy painted the dove's cage with the dove inside.

    The Longest Journey 1924

  • “And now, ” continued the butler, addressing the knife-boy, “reach me a candle, and we’ll get this through hands at once.

    The Last Night 1921

  • Kingsmead, and he felt that in learning something of the habits of the genus knife-boy he had added to his stock of human information, which he undoubtedly had.

    The Halo Bettina Von Hutten 1915

  • "I don't know, my lord -- unless it's because 'e's only just left off being knife-boy -- they get used to standing at the sink a-washing up, my lord, and William's feet is large, so I dessay he turned' is toes out in order to get near and not splash."

    The Halo Bettina Von Hutten 1915

  • She had upon two occasions inspired the knife-boy to verses which had subsequently appeared in the _Spectator_, and with weekly regularity she would lend her aid to the cook in the composition of those technical reviews by which (as it seemed) that domestic increased her ample wages.

    On Nothing and Kindred Subjects Hilaire Belloc 1911

  • I admitted that she had done a very considerable amount of work for so young a Muse in the past year, though its quality was doubtful, and I hastened to add that I was the less to blame as she had wasted not a little of her powers upon others without asking my leave; notably upon the knife-boy and the cook.

    On Nothing and Kindred Subjects Hilaire Belloc 1911


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